There are three kinds of self-delusion: Unconscious, Historic and Chronic. Unconscious Delusion is the kind of delusion in which a person does not realize or even suspect that he is deluding himself. This often occurs in young people. They have not yet had the experience of being able to look back on an earlier time in their lives and saying to themselves: “From hindsight I can see that I was kidding myself …”
Historic Delusion is the experience of self-recognition that an individual has when he looks back on an earlier point in his life and says to himself: “From hindsight I can see that I was, at that time, deluding myself.” But that is where it stops. In other words, the individual recognizes that he had previously been self-deluded, but he does not believe himself to currently be deluded.
It is actually kind of rare that people reach the stage of Chronic Delusion. This stage occurs when the individual has passed through Historic Delusion several times, over several different topics. At a certain point, he begins to suspect that his past experiences of Historical Delusion are actually part of a larger pattern – which is that he, himself is chronically prone to convincing himself of the truth of certain things in life – and then realizing that his beliefs were actually mistaken.
Chronic Delusion is kind of freeing – in a way. Since the individual is no longer bound by the prideful insistence that he is right about everything. In this new state of mind he is free to question his fundamental beliefs – and follow the truth wherever it may lead.